You’ve already kind of seen it, but the Thunder’s alternate uniform is officially here. And the best part about it is that the name is spelled right.
The first time you get to see it in action if this Friday in Oklahoma City against the Detroit Pistons. That’s right, the Thunder aren’t going to be one of Those Teams, wearing a dark alternate at home. OKC will also wearing it New Year’s Eve against the Suns. Per NBA rules, teams can only wear a dark colored alternate twice at home and 10 times on the road.
The Thunder are scheduled to wear the alternates for the these road games this season: Brooklyn (Dec. 4); Minnesota (Dec. 20); Washington (Jan. 7); Dallas (Jan. 18); Lakers (Jan. 27); Utah (Feb. 12); Denver (March 1); San Antonio (March 11); Indiana (April 5); and Golden State (April 11).
OK, so about the actual jerseys:
Like I said before, I’m a big fan of the idea. They have a real throwback look to them (a la the Cincinnati Royals), but the color scheme is just weird. Navy and white is cool, if that looked anything at all like the Thunder’s regular… anything.
All these uniforms needed was a hit of yellow/orange/Oklahoma blue somewhere in them. What if on the vertical lines where “Thunder” is, those were three lines each yellow, orange and sky blue? Or just make the number a different color. (I’m picturing the Trail Blazers’ uniform.)
Overall, they aren’t completely horrible. They’re just a missed opportunity. Why not go with “OKC”? Why only the two colors? Why navy and white? A lot of teams kind of begin a slow transition into new team colors and branding by doing it through an alternate, so I wonder if that’s what the Thunder are doing. Somewhere down the line in a few years maybe they want to move to a two color scheme.
Like I said, the vertical look is classic, which is pretty cool. This is the closest the Thunder can come to ever wearing throwbacks because there’s no way they’re rocking Sonics jerseys out there. So instead, they just create their own throwbacks new.
I think the appropriate response to the new alternates is, “Meh.” Although, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook tend to make any uniform they’re wearing look pretty cool.